Why “modern” caller id only has the phone number but landlines used to show their names too?


Why “modern” caller id only has the phone number but landlines used to show their names too?

In: 10

Caller ID says whatever the caller wants it to say. How much display do you need to spend on that?.

The information displayed with Caller ID, if I recall correctly, was based on the published phone book entries maintained by the phone company. The phone company (typically) had a monopoly, so they would know all the information from any local caller. However, they would display what was listed in the phone book (and would display “private” if the caller had an unlisted number). Additionally, since the phone companies were cooperating monopolies in other areas, it was easy to have a compatible system so even long distance calls could display the information.

Cell phone service was set up to display the caller phone number, but due to limitations of the technology, they did not necessarily have access to the name listing. (The phone number was always available, since the cell service had to connect the incoming call to the cell phone.)

Modern cell phones could potentially display a full name with the caller ID, but most cell companies did not pursue it. Verizon would sometimes display some information if the caller was a Verizon customer as well, but even that was hit-or-miss.

Google is starting to bring Caller ID back, at least for businesses. I have noticed that, if I get a call from certain businesses, Google will display the business name, and in other cases, it will ask me if the call (incoming OR outgoing) was a business. This works for Google and calls from businesses, but would probably be difficult from a legal perspective to display people’s names when calling from a personal number. At the very least, it would have to be an opt-in system, and it can be difficult to get enough people interested and willing to opt-in that I could imagine it never working. Businesses at least have published/publicly available phone numbers, so there is less of a concern for those.